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#pounditMonday, January 30, 2023

Martin Truex Jr. unhappy with crew chief over ‘stupid’ decision

Martin Truex Jr in sunglasses

May 2, 2022; Dover, Delaware, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr stands on pit road prior to the DuraMAX Drydene 400 at Dover Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Martin Truex Jr. entered Sunday’s Cup Series regular season finale at Daytona fighting for a playoff spot, and he was openly unhappy with his crew chief late in the race.

One scenario for Truex to make the playoffs involved him having to finish ahead of Ryan Blaney in points. Blaney was involved in a wreck early on Sunday, which put Truex in a favorable position. Truex finished second in Stage 2 and picked up nine huge points. Things then tightened significantly when he was involved in a crash of his own during a restart in Stage 3.

Truex, like Blaney, was able to stay in the race with damage to his right front fender. However, Truex made it clear that he disagreed with crew chief James Small’s decision to have the No. 19 car run so aggressively.

You can see the wreck and hear Truex’s comment in the video below:

With rain in the area, Small’s plan was to wait and see if the race ended up being stopped and called official due to the weather. He told Truex shortly before the crash that he would have him drop back if it looked like the rain was not going to hit the track.

Truex needed to finish 11 spots ahead of Blaney in order to pass him in points. He clearly felt he should have been playing it safe with Blaney at the back of the pack, but Small wanted to take a different approach.

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